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A* For Athlete Friendliness

Theme Feature: Athlete-Friendly Education

2nd Feb 2021 SSP169.JPG
Did you know that Singapore Sports School is the only local education institution that offers integrated sports and academic programme? It is the only school in Singapore accredited by the World Academy of Sport (WAoS) as an athlete-friendly education centre. This means that the international body recognises that Sports School has shown that it caters to student-athletes' unique needs and commitments with flexible learning pathways, policies and procedures, and an excellent support system.

The lifestyle of a student-athlete is very different from a typical student. They lead a double life – one as a student and another as an athlete. Their daily training sessions, coupled with competitions and overseas exposure as part of their comprehensive training plan to stretch their potential can be overwhelming and challenging for aspiring athletes to stay on top of their game in sports and studies simultaneously.

However, Sports School has made it possible for student-athletes to strive and do well in sports and studies at the same time. Its academic pathways and flexible curriculum offered in the School are one of the main reasons for its athlete-friendliness. The WAoS calls these the ‘passion pathways’ as they lead student-athletes towards their goals.

As an advocate of the Long-Term Athlete Development framework, Sports School offers both Secondary and Post-Secondary education options. Student-athletes in the Secondary programme can bypass their national examinations (GCE O-Levels or GCE N-Levels) to take up one of the School’s three through-train programmes. As the preparation for national examinations is intense, sports will typically take a backseat for some time. Instead, Sports School’s through-train programmes enable student-athletes to keep the momentum of training and achieve their sporting goals faster.

At the Post-Secondary level, different programmes are also provided to cater to the academic aspirations of student-athletes. Student-athletes can take up the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme, Diploma in Business Studies programme offered in collaboration with Ngee Ann Polytechnic or the Diploma in Business Programme jointly offered with Republic Polytechnic.

For both the Secondary and Post-Secondary Programmes, student-athletes enjoy flexibility in planning their academic schedule. As academic programmes is based on a modular structure, student-athletes can take up bite-sized modules based on their training plan. They have the option of extending the completion of their academic programme to achieve a balance between sports and studies. Importantly, as teachers fully understand the demands of being a student-athlete, they go the extra mile to guide them, conduct make-up lessons, and help student-athletes keep pace with schoolwork.

In the Polytechnic Diploma Programmes, student-athletes can cope better as they take one to two modules at a time, instead of the usual expectation of taking five modules at any one time. The compact lesson schedule and hours make it easier for student-athletes to manage their time. Unlike other Polytechnic programmes, the through-train programmes offered on campus in Sports School itself are conducted for four hours in the afternoon, giving sufficient time for morning and afternoon or evening training. Also, it is easier to get deferment and leave of absence from modules if sporting commitments take priority during a certain period. As Sports School is part of the high-performance sports ecosystem, student-athletes also get good support from other organisations in the sports fraternity, including National Youth Sports Institute and Singapore Sports Institute. The close communication between Sports School and the National Sports Associations also helps student-athletes balance their commitments as they keep the well-being and interests of the student-athlete at heart.

There are two roles of staff that have been specially created to ensure the well-being of student-athletes – a General Manager and a Mentor. A General Manager oversees the Sport Academy, and keeps track of the development of student-athletes. He/she also communicates with various staff to ensure student-athletes are on track to achieving their goals. Student-athletes also have a dedicated mentor that nurtures student-athletes from the day they step into Sports School till they graduate. These dedicated support also help student-athletes to manage the pressures and demands of being a student-athlete.

As Sports School’s main aim is to provide an optimal environment for student-athletes to chase their sporting and academic excellence, it is an ideal place for aspiring athletes to learn, train and live.

To find out more, you can click: https://www.sportsschool.edu.sg/e-open-house.

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